At election time, employees often request time off from work to vote. Tennessee has voting leave laws that employers must comply with at election time.
Under Tennessee law, an employer must permit an employee who is an eligible voter to be absent from work on an election day in order to vote in the county where the employee is a resident. Likewise, an employer may not penalize or reduce the pay of an employee for being absent from work on an election day to vote.
These requirements do not apply if the polls are open on election day for three or more consecutive hours outside of the voter’s work hours.
Request for Leave
Employees must request leave to vote before noon of the day before the election.
Amount of Leave
An employee is entitled to a reasonable amount of time off from work in order to vote during the time the polls are open, but no longer than three hours.
The employer may specify what hours the employee will have off, as long as the time is reasonable and sufficient to allow the employee to vote.
Payment on Leave
Any time off of work for voting purposes must be paid to the extent that it cuts into the employee's normal working hours.
Voting Machine Technicians
Tennessee law requires employers to excuse employees from their full-time employment while they are serving as part-time voting machine technicians.
Employers are not required to pay employees for time off of work to serve as part-time voting machine technicians. In addition, employers may not require employees to use vacation or other leave during the absence.
Knox County early voting schedule (Oct 31 to Nov 3rd - 8am to 8pm):
*Polling places are open from 7am to 7pm on Election Day (11/8/16)
State-by-State Voting Laws: